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September is over (ovar-y?)

Posted Oct 01 2013 11:03am

So as we’ve mentioned a couple times, September is ovarian cancer month. And while teal for ovarian awareness isn’t as ubiquitous as pink that’s on everything , it seems to me that ovarian cancer is popping up all over the place. In the form of diagnoses.

It’s really not as uncommon as what we might think.

Take a look:

photo (53)

You know what sticks out to me? The part that says 93 percent of women diagnosed in the early stages will survive five years. I’ve just come from my annual check up, where I had a blood test to determine my levels of CA-125, an indicator of ovarian cancer, and an ultrasound of my ovaries. I have each of these each year because of my family history , but for almost all women, there is no effective, routine screening for ovarian cancer. It doesn’t show up on a pap test, and it is rather hard to do a self-exam on your ovaries.

So, until they come up with an easy test we can all get, we have to be vigilant and pay attention to our own bodies.

According to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, symptoms of ovarian cancer can be vague and not always gynecologic, such as • A swollen or bloated abdomen or increased girth (some women notice that their pants are getting tight
around the waist)
• Persistent pressure or pain in the abdomen or pelvis
• Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
• Urinary concerns, such as urgency or frequency
• Change in bowel habits with constipation and/or diarrhea

Here’s an ovarian cancer fact sheet to read for more information.

And since I have your well-being in mind, let me share one more piece of advice. If you’re looking for a pretty infographic like the one I posted above, search Pinterest. You’ll find all sorts of lovely teal stuff! However, unless you actually want to SEE ovaries? Do NOT do a google image search for ovarian cancer. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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